Does hormone therapy increase a woman’s risk for breast cancer? Elizabeth Tracey reports


The Women’s Health Initiative was a series of studies looking at interventions to improve the health of women after menopause, and in examining hormone therapy, found an increased risk for breast cancer. Wen Shen, a menopause expert at Johns Hopkins, says that study used oral estrogen and that different forms of hormones are used today.

Shen: The 17-beta estradiol patch and the micronized progesterone capsule based in peanut oil may have lower breast cancer risk than the oral hormones that were used in the WHI. Timing hypothesis is very very important. For women who are more than five or ten years out from their last menstrual period they are not good candidates for hormone therapy.  :32

Shen says research into this field is ongoing and women should ask about what current studies are showing. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.